Management of the Mining Fund for Local Development: Civil society keeps watch in Houndé and Soaw
What is the stimulation of citizen participation and accountability in the management of local affairs? How the Committee for Dialogue and Citizen Watch (CDVC) monitors the management of public finances, including that relating to the Mining Fund for Local Development (FMDL) in the municipalities of Houndé (province of Tuy) and Soaw (province of Boulkiemdé)? These are the main axes on which focused the press caravan that the NGO Oxfam in Burkina organized, in collaboration with Actions des Journalistes sur les Mines au Burkina Faso (AJM-BF), from May 8 to 11, 2023.
The first town to receive media men, Houndé, which falls under the province of Tuy (Hauts-Bassins region), is home to the Houndé Gold Operation (HGO) gold mine of the Endeavor Mining group. Since the operationalization of the Mining Fund for Local Development (FMDL) in 2019, the municipality has received more than 7 billion FCFA. As stipulated in the 2015 mining code in its article 26, the FMDL is allocated to the financing of regional development plans and municipal development plans. Prioritizing social sectors such as education, water, sanitation and health. Speaking of health, the Committee for Dialogue and Citizen Watch (CDVC) of Houndé took us to the village of Dankari. In this place just along the national road 1 leading to Bobo-Dioulasso is erected a Health and Social Promotion Center (CSPS).
The residents who rejoiced at the establishment of this jewel of more than 96 million FCFA quickly became disillusioned, tired of waiting for its official opening since the end of the construction of the buildings in 2021. According to the president of the CDVC of Houndé, Adama Traoré, this CSPS is welcome, but those who have chosen this site have not done well. The municipal council at the time set up the CSPS without the involvement of the population and CSOs in choosing the site. “It is very close to the road and an accident happened quickly,” he said. But in the meantime, the Committee pleads for the opening of this health center, even if it appears that the CSPS does not meet the standards and is non-viable from the point of view of health mapping.
In the village of Koho in sector 5 of Houndé, the population is impatiently awaiting the Secondary Education College (CEG), also built thanks to the FMDL. The construction of this establishment of three classes, plus an administration and toilets began in November 2022 and ended in mid-April 2023, for an amount of more than 27 million FCFA. The Committee is already alerting to cracks that can be seen on the building in question. This makes the beneficiary population worried. On this point, the President of the special delegation (PDS) of Houndé, Souleymane Dianda, reassured the journalists during the exchanges. The CEG has not yet been received, so any malformations that may be observed will be corrected by the company in question.
Thanks to the FMDL, 90 million were allocated to the construction of a fence for the Gniehoun Hafanki school complex in Houndé and commercial shops. Not to mention the 72 million FCFA for the construction of 50 shops on the new site of the large market. The monitoring and alert role of the CDVC Houndé is appreciated at its fair value by the municipal authority. Especially with regard to capacity building and studies conducted on topics of great importance. “The Committee offers us reports that guide our decisions and allow us to take into account certain realities that we could have ignored if it had not approached us”, indicated the PDS of Houndé.
The second municipality to receive the press caravan is that of Soaw in the province of Boulkiemdé (Centre-Ouest region). This municipality, although it does not have a mining site on its perimeter, also benefits from the Mining Fund for Local Development (FMDL). Since the operationalization of the FMDL, Soaw has received a total of 151,171,732 FCFA. According to the president of the CDCV of Soaw, Germain Nana, gold also shines in this locality even if it does not shelter any mine. This money was used to make several achievements such as the administrative building of the CEG of Kolonkom, latrines for the Medical Center of Soaw and a drug depot at the CSPS of Kolonkom. “The construction of the depot was a request from civil society. Before, we did not know how to store the drugs, ”suggested Mr. Nana.
In the Municipality of Soaw, forums have been set up to allow people to express their needs. According to the vice-president of the special delegation, Abraham Seni, these needs have been prioritized. It is therefore on this basis that the municipality works. Also, he welcomed the action of the Committee for Dialogue and Citizen Watch (CDVC) which draws the attention of the authority to certain realities on the ground. This allows things to be corrected quickly. He wants as proof of this the poor construction of an administrative building in an establishment of the commune that the Committee has pointed out. “The roof was ruined, the technicians who were in charge of the control saw nothing. The CDVC caught our attention. When we arrived on the ground, the observation was real.
As a reminder, Oxfam in Burkina Faso in collaboration with CERA/FP, ORCADE and RECIBOG is implementing the project “For a program to strengthen citizen participation and accountability in the management of public finances” phase II in the municipalities of Soaw ( Boulkiemdé), Dédougou (Mouhoun) and Houndé (Tuy).
Marcus Kouaman (email@example.com)